Rosemary Fields are two areas (Rosemary 1 and 2,) with predominately meadow habitat with invading scrub and tree growth. The two fields are part of the larger development area of Nicolson Road. As part of the development, the two fields are to be retained as public open space and will be transferred to Natural Enterprise for ongoing maintenance and enhancement. The two fields were part of a larger farm complex (Preston Farm) but have not been formally managed for several years pending planning permission and construction works. In the meantime the larger field had been horse grazed and periodically cut to control ragwort, although the site has been largely untouched in the last few years.
Until the summer of 2020 there was no official public access although the whole development area has been used informally by local walkers. In summer 2020 Natural Enterprise created a mown linking path between Rosemary 1 and 2 with a circular route around Rosemary 2. This was linked to public footpath 55 running through Rosemary 1.
How to get there
On foot/By bike – The site can be accessed from R54 from Oakfield, R55 from Elmfield, and R52/52a from Rosemary Lane and Swanmore. The Nunwell Trail pass the site.
By bus – Ryde Fire Station Stop (Routes 2) + 10 min walk via R55. (Bus Timetables)
By Car – There is no parking at the site. The nearest on-road parking is Ashley Lane or Great Preston Road.
On all G2N sites including this one, the surfaces are in keeping with a countryside location and paths are liable to become soft and wet in places. At present this site is not suitable for any access except on foot.
There are no toilets on site. The nearest catering will be in Ryde Town Centre.
What to look out for
Since managing the site we have found Birdsfoot trefoil, Corky fruited dropwort, Knapweed, Fleabane, Yarrow, Ribwort plantain, Creeping butrtercup, Meadow buttercup, Ragwort, Hogweed, Common spotted orchids and bramble.
Birds previously recorded include Whitethroats nesting and buzzards. Insects include Dingy skipper, Marbled white , Meadow Brown and Small skipper.
Managing the site
The open grassland is currently being invaded by brambles and self-sown trees and shrubs. This is the natural process of succession and without intervention will proceed to mature woodland. In order to suspend this process, the site will need to be mown annually in the late summer/early autumn. Every year in the autumn approximately one third/one quarter of the open grass areas will be cut and this will be on a three/four-year rotation. In practice the areas to be cut are selected each year at the end of the growing season and those with the thickest growth are cut that year amounting to approximately a third of the available area. This regime would extend to the bramble patches and a decision would be made to either cut patches of bramble to base or simply cut around the perimeter to prevent further spread. This largely depends upon how vigorously the bramble is growing and spreading and the aim is to create a patchwork of grassland with mixed bramble and tree and shrub growth without allowing the dominance of any one element within the habitat. This also means that every year approximately two thirds\three quarters of the site is left undisturbed as sanctuary areas for wildlife
There are various ways you can help improve and maintain our sites. We rely on conservation volunteers to help with many tasks and also need people who are happy to regular visit the site be our “eyes and ears”, this means we can respond much quicker to issues. Find out more here.
You can also help by becoming one of our regular supporters. Even giving a few pounds each month can make a real difference, with your donation being invested into site management and improvement work to benefit site visitors and look after our precious wildlife. Sign up here.